Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Pulling Out of Iraq

Rosa Brook's July 13 piece from the LA Times helped crystallize some questions I've been having about the calls for withdrawal from Iraq.

Basically, the same people saying we should withdraw from Iraq are saying we should do something about Darfur. It is hard to get a good sense of exactly what would happen if we withdrew - whether our presence is the problem or whether our withdrawal will open the flood gates for even worse violence.

As bad as Saddam Hussein was, the lives of Iraqis appear to be much worse today than before we invaded. And under Hussein, Iran was kept in check. And even those of us who can say we didn't vote for Bush and that we opposed the war from the beginning, have some responsibility for not protesting louder and more effectively. It is the US that has gotten Iraq into this situation. Now that we've totally mucked things up, can we with a straight face say, "Ooops, sorry, we screwed up. Better leave now."

Brooks' article critiques the basic arguments being offered both for and against withdrawal including mine above. The issue, of course, is about our ability to accomplish a better outcome by staying than by leaving.

Clearly we have obligations to the Iraqi people. But are we capable of meeting those obligations? I think one key strategy is to get other countries involved in the peace keeping. When the war began, companies from countries that didn't support the war were kept out of the contracts in Iraq. Cheney's company, Halliburton, has profited hugely from the war. Perhaps France and Germany might have more interest in helping keep the peace if their companies got part of the action.

It's clearly an incredible mess, largely of our own making. Will our withdrawal help wind down the violence? I suspect things will get worse before they get better, and in the end, Al Qaida and/or its allies will control the oil of Iraq. Way to go George.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments will be reviewed, not for content (except ads), but for style. Comments with personal insults, rambling tirades, and significant repetition will be deleted. Ads disguised as comments, unless closely related to the post and of value to readers (my call) will be deleted. Click here to learn to put links in your comment.